South Korean researchers have synthesized a molecule that seems to not only stop, but also reverse, the built-in aging functions of cells.
A team of South Korean scientists on Sunday
claimed to have created a “cellular fountain of youth,’’ or a small
molecule, which enables human cells to avoid aging and dying.
The team, headed by Prof. Kim Tae-kook at the
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, argued the
newly-synthesized molecule, named CGK733, can even make cells younger.
The findings were featured by the Britain-based
Nature Chemical Biology online early today and will be printed as a
cover story in the journal’s offline edition early next month.
“All cells face an inevitable death as they age.
On this path, cells became lethargic and in the end stop dividing but
we witnessed that CGK733 can block the process,’’ Kim said.
“We also found the synthetic compound can
reverse aging, by revitalizing already-lethargic cells. Theoretically,
this can give youth to the elderly via rejuvenating cells,’’ the
Kim expected that the CGK733-empowered drugs that
keep cells youthful far beyond their normal life span would be
commercialized in less than 10 years.